Members of the Prescott National Forest VFC Team (and the Apache-Sitgreaves VFC Team ), enjoyed two weeks of SCA Orientation, Red Card (wildland fire), and Wilderness First Aid training. The first week was designated for Red Card training. We took S-190 (Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior), S-130 (Firefighter Training), I-100 (Introduction to Incident Command System, and L-180 (Human Factors on the Fireline). On Friday, September 2nd, we performed our pack test and conducted a field training exercise (FTX). The pack test is designed to test our physical endurance. We carried 45 pounds for three miles in under 45 minutes. Our FTX was completely crew member run. Our squad boss was not the project leader but a fellow crew member. We established escape routes and safety zones, established a lookout, built a fireline, and had to use our fire shelters. It was good to practice the techniques and knowledge we gained in the classroom.
During the second week of training, our SCA supervisors took us into the Prescott National Forest to teach us about fire ecology and the effects of fire. We saw what a recently burned patch of forest looked like and what effects the fire caused. Then, two personnel from Aerie Backcountry Wilderness traveled down from Montana to certify us in adult/child CPR along and Wilderness First Aid. The class was conducted outside and was extremely thorough. After learning the book answers, we immediately practiced them. Our instructors provided us with hands-on real world scenarios that tested our ability to learn, react, work with others, and make prudent snap decisions.